Monday, August 24, 2015

''You stink'' campaign in Beirut postponed after one potester was killed and 402 people wounded

Mass protest in Beirut. The picture (Reuters) is from Saturday 22 August 2015

A protest planned for Monday afternoon in Downtown Beirut has been called off "You Stink" campaigners announced, as the toll from the weekend clashes between demonstrators and riot police stood at 1 dead and 402 hurt. Protests against the Lebanese government turned violent for a second day on Sunday, and Prime Minister Tammam Salam threatened to resign as public discontent brought thousands into the streets.
Anger at the Salam-led unity cabinet grouping Lebanon's fractious politicians has come to a head over its failure to resolve a crisis over garbage disposal that reflects the wider failings of the weak state.
Salam's cabinet has been hamstrung by political and sectarian rivalries that have been exacerbated by wider crises in the Middle East, including the war in neighboring Syria.
Salam, in a televised address, warned that Lebanon was headed towards collapse and that a bigger problem than the trash crisis was the country's "political garbage".
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Beirut this weekend as part of the "You Stink" campaign directed at the government.
Water cannon and tear gas were fired at protesters, and demonstrators threw rocks and sticks at riot police as violence flared near Salam's offices in central Beirut. "The people want the downfall of the regime," chanted protesters.
Security forces fired into the air, and clouds of tear gas wafted through the streets as police tried to force protesters from the area. Some demonstrators lit fires. A tree next to a church was set ablaze, road signs were pulled from the ground, and shop fronts smashed. Violence also flared on Saturday night.
The stench of uncollected refuse in the streets of Beirut is a stark reminder of the crisis of government afflicting Lebanon [AP]Garbage piles up in the streets of Beirut after the garbage dump of the city closed in July.  (AP< the picture is from July 2015)

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